‘Summer of hell’ looms over Memorial Day travels

Posted at 9:09 AM, May 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-26 09:09:00-04

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Weekend wanderers and daily commuters are bracing for impact. Governor Cuomo has dubbed July and August "summer of hell" due to rail work planned for Penn Station. It’s expected to have a ripple effect; impacting drivers, buses and the subway.

“If you reduce trains by 20%, it will be a summer of hell,” Cuomo said.

He’s referring to 1 in 5 trains that will be cut during peak hours while Amtrak works on the rails. The agency plans to shutter 3 tracks leading into Penn Station at a time. The work is scheduled to begin on July 7 and it will span 6 weeks.

“Maybe I’ll drive, or just make sure I know what trains are cancelled,” said one man, waiting for a train to the beach.

There are 21 tracks in and out of Penn Station. Governor Cuomo warned that if more money is not poured into our rail system soon, the century-old tube leading into Penn will be totally out-of-service in 20 years.

“I guess we’ll just have to me more proactive when we’re checking our train times,” said a woman waiting for the train out of town.

“We are at capacity. Penn Station is really at peak hours is almost over capacity,” said Amtrak Vice President Mike DeCataldo.

A schedule reflecting the repair work will be announced in the coming weeks.